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Raikkonen aims for better second day

Kimi Raikkonen, Arctic RallyKimi Raikkonen has made it to the end of the opening day of the Arctic Rally in Finland, but the former Ferrari star has set his sights firmly on improving his pace tomorrow.

The Red Bull Citroen Junior Team driver suffered a fraught morning on the Rovaniemi-based event after crashing on the second stage, where he dropped more than half an hour in a ditch.

Citroen fixed his C4 WRC at the ensuing service allowing the 2007 Formula 1 champion a clear run through the afternoon's three stages. Due to his morning shunt, his overall position in the Finnish Rally Championship event has not yet been clarified.

Raikkonen's co-driver Kaj Lindstrom said: "The afternoon has been good. Kimi is back on top of the car after the problem this morning. We've been just under a second per kilometre slower than Dani [Sordo], who's leading the event. The focus for me tomorrow will be to get that gap down to half a second per kilometre."

Raikkonen, who was second quickest to Sordo on all three of this afternoon's stages, made adjustments to the C4 WRC at service ahead of the final stage in northern Finland this evening. He adjusted the suspension on the car to assist turn-in to corners, while also working to help with traction at the back of the car.

Sordo remains clear at the head of the field.

"It's been good," he said. "I'm driving the car at about the same sort of pace I would drive during a test. Sometimes, when the road is nicer and I have some more confidence, I am pushing a little bit more. It's good, though, I'm enjoying it."

There are six further stages tomorrow, with three of those repeated. Sordo felt the repeated stages would help more for the forthcoming Swedish Rally.

"With 180 cars having gone through, the road will have more gravel in it," he said. "I think this can be a bit more like a test for Sweden, which will be useful."

Elsewhere in the field, Markko Martin's protege Ott Tanak continues to turn heads in Rovaniemi. He holds a strong second in class behind Sordo, following an exceptional run in his Group N Subaru Impreza.

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